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Research Article  |   November 2002
Participation in the Occupations of Everyday Life
Author Affiliations
  • Mary Law, PhD, FCAOT, is Associate Dean (Health Sciences) and Director, School of Rehabilitation Science, and Co-Director CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences, IAHS Building, 1400 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 1C7, Canada; lawm@mcmaster.ca
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Distinguished Scholar Lecture
Research Article   |   November 2002
Participation in the Occupations of Everyday Life
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2002, Vol. 56, 640-649. doi:10.5014/ajot.56.6.640
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2002, Vol. 56, 640-649. doi:10.5014/ajot.56.6.640
Abstract

Participation or involvement in everyday occupations is vital for all humans. As described by the World Health Organization, participation has a positive influence on health and well-being. The presence of disability has been found to lead to participation that is less diverse, is located more in the home, involves fewer social relationships, and includes less active recreation. Occupational therapy is in a unique position to contribute to the development and fulfillment of participation for persons with and without disabilities. This article describes the nature and outcomes of participation. Characteristics to define and measure meaningful participation are outlined. Information about time use will help to develop an understanding of patterns of participation across locations, gender, culture, and the life span. Factors that affect participation within the environment, family, and persons are summarized. Occupational therapy research is needed to examine the complex relationship among person, environment, and participation in occupations. In practice and education, knowledge about participation can enhance the client-centered and evidence-based nature of occupational therapy services.